Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to read the answer.


What are the school hours?

Elementary school (K through 5th): 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Preschool: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Do you offer full-day preschool?

Currently, we offer morning preschool only.

Please note: All children must be fully potty-trained prior to starting preschool.

Do you offer before and after school care?

Yes, we offer our Before and After School Care for our elementary students (beginning with kindergarten). At this time we do not offer before or after-school care for preschool.

Do you have art, music, gym, etc.?

Yes! All elementary students have class time each week for music, visual arts, and STEM, taught by specialist teachers. They also have dedicated time for physical education and to visit the school library with their class.

French Immersion

My child doesn't speak a word of French. How will she adapt?

Many of our preschool and kindergarten students do not speak or understand any French when they start school. Beginning on the first day, our teachers introduce students to the French language through everyday activities, including games, stories, songs and play.

Children’s natural capacity to learn and adapt means they will quickly begin to understand French, though some will take longer than others to feel comfortable speaking. Although children are encouraged to speak French in the classroom to teachers and each other, they are always able to express themselves and be understood in English. In addition, our native French-speaking students are encouraged to help and support their non-French-speaking friends.

Does my child need to know French to attend North Seattle French School?

For students entering preschool and kindergarten, NO French is required. Beginning in 1st grade, some command of French is necessary. Non-native speakers will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

How does language immersion work? When will my child understand and speak French?

Language is acquired most effectively when it is learned in a meaningful social context, such as school. Through immersion, our students learn French as they learned their mother tongue: in a nurturing environment, with lots of encouragement, plenty of gentle repetition, and physical cues as needed.

Most children will understand some French after just a few months. Some will begin experimenting with speaking right away, and others, though they may understand, will wait longer to speak until they feel more comfortable with the language.

When do students study English?

In elementary school, English Language Arts is taught for four to seven hours per week (increasing in each subsequent grade). By the end of 1st grade, the vast majority of our students are conversant French speakers, with age-appropriate literacy skills in both French and English. Starting in 3rd grade, students will spend about 40% of their time with English-speaking teachers and 60% with French-speaking teachers. Students will study some subjects, such as math, in both languages.


When should my family start the admissions process?

It’s a good idea to start looking at schools in the fall for the following school year. Our application deadline is January 31, but if space is available, we also accept students mid-year.

How old does my child need to be to start school?

North Seattle French School follows the French system to determine grade level according to date of birth. To start school, students must reach the following age requirements by December 31 of the same year:

Preschool: 3 years old
Kindergarten: 5 years old
1st Grade: 6 years old
and so on for each subsequent grade.

For example, students who turn 5 in November may start kindergarten in September.

Please note: All children must be fully potty-trained prior to starting preschool.

Do you have a policy for siblings of current students?

Yes. Siblings of current students receive a 5% tuition discount and have admissions priority. Siblings are not automatically accepted; all applicants must complete the full admissions process.

Does my child need to be toilet-trained prior to starting preschool?


Tuition Assistance

Who should apply for tuition assistance?

Elementary school families who have thoroughly reviewed their financial situation, including all sources of income, and feel they need help paying tuition are encouraged to apply. (We do not currently offer financial aid for preschool.) Aid is issued as a grant; there is no repayment obligation.

How is aid determined?

NSFS uses FAST, an online service of the Independent School Management Association, to help determine financial aid. FAST calculates the demonstrated need amount for each family based on gross income, nontaxable income, assets, liabilities, family size, and the number of children in tuition-paying schools below the college level, among other factors. Using FAST ensures confidentiality and equal consideration to all applicants.

The NSFS Financial Aid Committee determines awards based on the FAST demonstrated need information together with the amount of financial aid available and the number of families applying for aid in a given year.

Will applying for tuition assistance affect admissions decisions?

No. Financial aid applications are considered separately from admissions applications.

How do I apply for financial aid?

The application is entirely online, through our school’s FAST link above.

The final deadline is usually in February for the following school year, but it is advisable to begin the FAST application as early as possible, as some documents should be submitted to FAST by January. Please begin your FAST application early to see exactly what documentation is needed. Please contact our Finance Chair at with questions.

All adults in the custodial household will be asked to provide documentation including but not limited to:

  • complete tax return for the most recent year
  • mortgage statement or rental agreement
  • child support documentation (if applicable)
  • W2 and/or 1099 for all jobs worked, and/or Social Security, unemployment or disability stubs if you are a recipient 
  • IRS form 4506T (Request for Transcript of Tax Form) (available on the FAST website)
  • current credit report (NEW applicants only; available at no charge at

What happens in cases of parental divorce or separation?

NSFS considers both parents or partners responsible for the educational expenses of their child(ren), regardless of marital status or the existence of legal documents stating otherwise. Therefore, separated or divorced partners must both complete tuition assistance applications. Please contact the Finance Chair at if you have questions about specific circumstances.

Will NSFS offer tuition assistance to cover my family’s full demonstrated financial need?

While we are very glad to be able to offer tuition assistance, we cannot guarantee that we will have funds to meet every applicant’s demonstrated need. The maximum amount we can offer this year is 25% of tuition.

When will I be notified of a decision?

If we receive completed applications with all necessary forms by the February 28 deadline, we will send a tuition assistance decision letter at the end of March.

Can I still apply for financial assistance after the deadline?

Yes. While we anticipate the bulk of available funds will be allocated to applicants who submit by the February 28 deadline, we may have available and/or additional grant funds later in the year. We encourage you to apply if needed even after the deadline.

What if my financial circumstances change?

We are here to work with all of our families. Please notify our Finance Chair right away if your family’s financial situation changes unexpectedly:

Will I need to reapply for aid each year?

Yes, aid is determined every year for one year only. However, if there are no significant changes to your financial situation, it is likely that comparable aid will be offered each year.